December 2014 Newsletter

Contents of December 2014 Newsletter – Volume 34, Issue 12

  • Letter from the editor
  • Announcements
  • Ladies' Weekend at the Beach
  • Winter Weekend Getaway
  • Peace Corps Career Day
  • Host Families Needed
  • In Memoriam Don Bracken
  • CRPCA November to January events

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Letter from the editor

In this month's CRPCA newsletter, we have a slew of announcements, from weekend getaways to a call for host families. We also have a write up of the CRPCA co-sponsored career fair held at Mercy Corps on November 15. You can find photos from CRPCA's November events on the website. If you have anything you would like to share, particularly about how you stay connected with your country of service (or third goal activities you do in Portland), please do get in touch. I'll also be sending out reminders in the weekly update. If you have any announcements or information that you'd like shared in the January newsletter, send it my way before December 23, 2014 (note the early deadline!).

— Meaghan Corwin, Armenia 2008–2011 & Mongolia 2011–2013


¶ The 2015 International Calendars have arrived! They're just as beautiful as they are every year and will be available at all CRPCA social activities through the end of the year. You can also contact your neighborhood representative (info on the CRPCA website) to get your calendar(s), or you can make an order through our checkout page. Proceeds from the calendar sales support the CRPCA grants program.

White Elephant Post-Holiday Party. Mark your calendars for the White Elephant Party! It will take place on Saturday, January 3, 2015, from 6:00pm to 8:30 pm at the Lucky Lab Tap Room on 1700 N Killingsworth. Details on advance ticket sales to follow in the e-updates.

Women's Beach Getaway

Brenda Michel, CRPCA member, offers a proposal for a women-only, 21 and over, Beach Getaway Weekend. Jan 17-19, 2015 which is Dr. King’s birthday weekend – Sat. and Sun. nights Jan. 17-18, leaving for home Monday the 19th.

The oceanfront "Sand Castle” luxury beach house rental is located in Lincoln City, with hot-tub, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a gas fireplace; it sleeps twelve. If twelve women attend it would be $110 each for two nights. If fifteen women attend it would be $87 each for two nights, plus food contributions. No pets; no smoking; no just-one-nighters. If a dozen of us commit with money down, it’s a go; put it on your calendar. Please contact Brenda Michel at to reserve your Update: As of the end of Nov., we need just two (or more) women to commit so I can book the house. Please join us!

Winter Weekend Getaway

CRPCA is making plans for the Winter Weekend Getaway. Join other RPCVs and families at the Mazama Lodge on the mountain for an overnight on Saturday, Feb. 7th. You'll need to make your own reservations for the bunks and meals (see 'how-to' section on our website). This is a really fun, unique opportunity for those who enjoy winter snow and weather! Please let Anne Kimberly know that you will be attending (and ask her your questions!) by emailing her at

Peace Corps Career Day

Peace Corps Career Day 2014 Panel

Returned volunteers discuss their paths in the light of their Peace Corps experience, and the impact it on their careers.

On November 15, the United Nations Association of Portland held an event entitled "Careers Built out of Peace Corps Experience," with the co-sponsorship of CRPCA. Returned volunteers spoke about the role of their volunteer experience in the development of their careers to an audience of students, recently returned volunteers, young professionals, and current Peace Corps applicants. More than sixty registered participants took part in discussions and workshops on the relevance of Peace Corps service to a variety of careers. (A special thank you to our tireless Education Coordinators Kat Barnes and Dre Mayrose, who crafted and coordinated the event with Michael Heyn, Douglas Richardson, and Bill Saphir of the United Nations Association, along with the World Affairs Council.)

Peace Corps Career Day 2014 Discussion

Host Families Needed

Edina Butler RPCV Mauritania (2000-2002), International Student Exchange Area Rep, has sent in the following call for host families for international students who will be arriving in January.

When you think back on your Peace Corps experience, you probably think of your host family often, perhaps you stay in contact with them, and maybe you've even had a chance to go back to visit. Chances are, your host family changed you and you changed them. Now, will you be the loving host family for an international exchange student?

Students arrive this January, 2015 for 5 and 12 month placements. You may pick the countries you are most interested in and match your family's interests to the student's. For example, if your son or daughter is involved in soccer or if you have a passion for art, why not share what you love with an exchange student? Host families do not necessarily need to have children. It's okay to host a student even if your kids are very young or grown adults. You can be retired or you can be single. What matters is that you deeply care about the student's well being and help them make the most of their stay in America. In other words, you have the ability to make them "feel at home."

Pay back your host family's generosity or simply pay it forward. To learn more, please contact Edina Butler, ISE Area Rep, RPCV Mauritania (2000-2002) at or by calling 206-474-4809. Or visit the International Student Exchange Website.

Donald R. Bracken

Don BrackenIt is with great regret that we note the passing of Donald Bracken, of the Inland NW Peace Corps Association, in Spokane on November 13, 2014. Don was a familiar face at the regional campouts and other RPCV events. The family has asked that donations be made in his memory to support cancer research.

CRPCA December to February events

December 2014

Tuesday, 12/09/14, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Book Club – 7865 SW Parrway Dr. in Portland. The book to read is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958). See our book club page for more information. Feel free to bring snacks to share. Hosted by Carol McCormac Wild (503-292-3385).

Sunday, 12/14/14, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Potluck Gathering4222 SE Morrison St. in Portland. Please bring a dish to share to the 6pm potluck dinner. After dinner, starting at 7pm, there will be a business meeting. Hosted by Patrice Hudson, (503.866.7020).

Monday, 12/15/14, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm – Soirée – Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd in Portland. This is a great way to link up with other RPCVs, hear interesting stories from around the world, and grab a drink and a bite to eat among good company. You can usually find us in the front room. Moved up due to the holidays.

Wednesday, 12/17/14, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm – Job Search Support GroupLloyd Center in Portland.  Informal gathering of CRPCA members and friends who are seeking new work. Location at Lloyd Center in Portland. Meet 7pm at the Food Court (3rd floor) exiting the elevator to the left side of the food court, looking for CRPCA sign plate overlooking the ice rink edge, or call Gordon Young at 206-351-6465 for our location if you arrive later. Contact Gordon at networking AT for more information. Moved up due to the holidays.